"There's no talk of terrorism because he was also white."


#1

“There’s no talk of terrorism because he was also white.”

What a dumb, irrelevant, racist thing to say. Do you include this in all posts involving white people? Also, I’m pretty sure white people can be terrorists.

Might I suggest,
“There’s no talk of voodoo because he was also white.”
or
“There’s no talk of insurance fraud because the victims weren’t rich enough to murder for money.”
or
“There’s no talk of mental illness because he wasn’t in therapy.”

This isn’t reporting. It’s a poor excuse for journalism, reposting a sensational article and adding a little more fire to the flames.


Florida Sheriff: triple homicide by Homeland Security employee was ritual killing tied to “blue moon”
#2

Hello Cross White Person! Welcome to BoingBoing! Would you say that it’s possible, given that it appears the perpetrator apparently identified as Wiccan, the cops have said it’s ‘witchcraft’, that if they’d identified as Muslim, they would have gone for a terrorist angle? Cos I would.


#3

Heh! Yes, I know it was incredibly rude of me to be born this way, wasn’t it? Ah well, what’s done is done.

Honestly, if he was Muslim, I would imagine they would be careful to specify that it wasn’t terror related and people are being (rightfully) very sensitive to not jump on the idea that Muslims are terrorists. Just the plain old facts seem to show that these people aren’t good terror targets.

Also, as a former Wiccan, I can assure you that this isn’t a Wiccan thing. Just because there might be pentacles and black candles around doesn’t mean that Wiccans have suddenly revised their entire religion to include ritual killing.

I guess it just seemed very snarky— insinuating, “look, this guy is white so they are giving him white privilege and acting like it can’t be terror related, those crappy cops.”


#4

I was born the same way. I just don’t get upset when people point out that it incurs some serious advantages. And if you imagine that cops as stupid as these ones, and similarly stupid news organisations, wouldn’t immediately jump on the terrorist angle, you mustn’t watch much news…


#5

Um…

Privilege is one hell of a drug. But hey, what’s done is done. I’m sure the legions of people of color who’ve been maligned, harassed, and murdered in America will take solace from that.

True, but does BB’s site have anything like this in its “about” page?

Even in this digital age, AP remains the definitive source for reliable news across the globe.

#6

Good solution. So are you thinking that this writer is being sarcastic in order to give solace to those who have suffered as a result of their race or religion? Perpetuating any bigotry is not good for anyone. Punishing anyone in the present can never make up for the sins of all our ancestors. How odd that anyone thinks that this is a good thing. Being snide to the descendents of mass murderers doesn’t fix anything.

White guilt and white privilege is a thing. I get that. But tossing out cutting comments (that are truly irrelevant) in order to make things more inflammatory is not the way to repair race relations.


#7

I think you are extremely quick to interpret something as anti-white bigotry. The system we live in is very quick to label mass killings by muslims and middle eastern people as terrorism and will go to extreme lengths to avoid labeling mass killings by white, American born people as terrorism. Some white, American born people leave explicit political manifestos outlining their reasons for killing and the groups they are targeting and the media never raises the specter of terrorism. That is a statement about how police and media treat people of different religions and different ethnicities - not a statement about people of those religions and ethnicities. It is not bigoted or racist.

From the facts presented here about this story, I can’t see any reason to think it is racism, but there are more facts about this story that we don’t know, facts that could be interpreted one way or another. We don’t know what those facts are, but we know that they were interpreted to say “not terrorism” and that that seems to be what happens every time the perpetrator is white, even when the public facts pretty obviously fit the definition of terrorism.

If you disagree - if you think that the term “terrorist” in America is not a racialized term - then go ahead and question that fact. But that fact is not even remotely blaming white people for anything. In fact, if we were to blame any individual for the current state of American views on terror, it would be a black man.

We should definitely point out places where the system treats people differently. That’s a key to ending bigotry, not a form of it.

I guess the question is, who does this “cutting” comment “cut”? Police? Media? The American government? I don’t see how it cuts at me, or you, or white people in general, or how it is inflammatory at all except to those who are invested in insisting that the police do not view crime through a racial lens. Insisting that police do not view crime through a racialized lens is perpetuating actual racism. Maybe it’s not so bad to make a cutting comment at people doing it.

You said, “how rude of me for being born this way.” Did anyone tell you it was rude of you to be of a skin colour that is treated more sympathetically when crime is in question? I certainly don’t think it’s rude. I do think it comes across as pretty “rude” (for lack of a better word) though, to be upset when that fact is acknowledged. The world is unjust, and, from what you’ve said here, it sounds like you are proposing we don’t talk about that and hope it goes away.


#8

Well, I see your first mistake right here. Would you definitively say that you’re disappointed in BoingBoing?

Actually, there sorta is.


#9

I guess my answer is yes, I have been told that I’m guilty by association (being white) of being treated more sympathetically when crime is in question. It is the definition of white privilege and yes it is real… but pointing out that this suspect is enjoying white privilege is odd in this context. I’m not making my point well, so for that, I apologize. My point is that her comment comes out of left field.

The author is ‘cutting’ the police I think, by pointing out that he isn’t suspected of terrorism (because he is white), when in fact, he should be suspected of terrorism. It just doesn’t add up that there is any reason at all to suspect terrorism as a go-to motive for something like this murder, even if the suspect was of a “typical” terrorist skin color (as if there is such a thing!)


#10

Heh! Yeah I know. BoingBoing… I get that.
Now don’t conflate Wicca and Voodoo… very different! The majority of (New Orleans) Voodoo practitioners are black though I know some white Voodoo practitioners as well. And the majority of Wiccans are enjoying white privilege (tongue firmly in cheek here).


#11

The conflation failure belongs to the Pensacola PD, I’m quite familiar with Wicca and other not-Christian religions.

It strikes me that the police investigating the crime made some very odd assumptions and presumptions about what they found at the crime scene and are very ignorant of the religion their wagging their fingers and tongues at.


#12

If you don’t think that white people are treated more sympathetically by police, then you can come out and say that, otherwise, there is no guilt by association, it’s just a fact about our culture. You can wish it were otherwise, you can take concrete steps to make it otherwise, but it is still a fact about the present. If people aren’t able to talk about that fact for fear of making white people feel awkward, then how we can address the injustice the results from that?

We might even more relevantly note that the authorities saw some weird stuff and started blaming Wicca for these killings, while in another murder, there would be no mention of it being religiously motivated because the perpetrator was Christian. Would that be an accusation or an attack on Christians? And if some Christians said it was, what would we say to them? Their right to not be reminded that their religion is better regarded than Wicca does not outweigh the misunderstanding and trouble that actual members of fringe religions have to live with because of our suspicion of them.

But are we here talking about the police? Are you here to defend the police from the aspersions cast upon them? Do you think police achieve a high standard of looking past race?

You think that this crime was clearly not terrorism based on extremely little information. I agree that based on that information it does not appear to be at all terrorism related. Therefore the author was projecting a political agenda where you feel it doesn’t belong. I think that since mass killings are the crimes that make us suspect terrorist motives the connection is there. But the question is, what is so bad about bringing it up?

If they printed an article about a new ice cream flavour and decided to say, off hand, that war is terrible for humanity and we should try to avoid wars, we might agree that’s unrelated to ice cream, but who would be in the forums saying that they never should have said that, or that it was an attack, or that they personally were being called guilty?

If you could convince everyone that this “no talk of terrorism because he was also white” thing was a completely unrelated aside, we’d still have the issue of why it is an upsetting aside. Racial injustice is a potentially uncomfortable topic that we might be upset to come across if we thought we were in fact just reading about an ice cream flavour, but to complain that mention of racial injustice has upset a story about a triple-homicide seems like a stretch to me.


#13

First, as to whether the @xeni’s comment was “cutting”, first, I’ll say, oh FFS. One of the three deceased people in question work for the Department of Homeland Security. Which is an agency that handles, or is supposed to handle, threats both domestic and international to the American state. So no, it’s not a statement made out of left field.

@xeni didn’t say the murders should be suspected of terrorism or terrorist activities, but that simply because the murderer is white, the media will automatically shift to a narrative of “white male loner who was crazy and in no way supported by or linked to anything other than his being wrong in the head”. You’ll notice that this narrative is rarely suggested when people of color are the alleged perpetrators, but when it’s white dudes, it’s no big deal–just a white guy gone crazy.

In addition, you may have noticed the recent furor regarding how the Charleston 9 murderer was not labeled as a terrorist, when there’s an outstanding case to be made for doing exactly that. Besides, @Humbabella said it better than I ever will:

See also:


#14

Come to think of it, whenever a non-white person commits a mass killing there is this implication that they are doing it for some larger purpose, or at least out of in group loyalty whether it’s terrorism, gang affiliations or what-have-you. But with while people, the violence is always purposeless and driven by madness. Why is no one defending the white man against this racist media campaign to make them seem like delusional madmen on the verge of homicide?


#15

I see you’ve got your fists out, say your piece and get out.
Guess I get the gist of it but it’s alright
Sorry that you feel that way.
The only thing there is to say
Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey


#16

Okay. Getting out. I guess I shouldn’t be sad, but I am. I’ll close my account now.


#17

It is arguably low-relevance in this context(unless the authorities are keeping quiet about it for investigatory purposes, the perp didn’t even make an attempt to leave a note, issue a press release, or otherwise provide a moral to the story); but it is pretty noticeable how hard white guys need to work to establish their ‘terrorist’ bona fides, compared to others.

It’s not a terribly new thing, either: Despite the fairly voceferous objections of our Freedom Buddies in Britain, the IRA was nearly as popular as green beer and maudlin ballads for a while over here(Rep. Peter King was a big booster before he 9/11-ed into being a crazed anti-terrorist demagogue). Domestically, we have pretty much ‘The Unibomber’(who evaded apprehension for years, had nontrivial knowledge of explosives, and an exhaustive manifesto) and Ted Kaczynski(who bombed the feds real good). Aside from them, even guys like Roof sometimes get called ‘spree killers’, despite their attempts to make their political agenda really clear.


#18

So here’s your description in your profile:

I joined to discuss a post but was basically tossed out. I can’t figure out how to delete so all I can do is ignore, I guess. Too bad only one point of view is welcome.

  • You were not tossed out;

  • You could ask for help deleting your posts and/or profile;

  • You are either lying (as in the first sentence) or willfully ignorant (as in the second sentence). There are a multitude of viewpoints on this site, because any point of view is welcome as long as it is argued in good faith.


#19

Were you thinking of Timothy McVey? Ted Kaczynski = Unabomber. Yeah, those two set an very high standard for what it takes to call a white (non-muslim - i.e., not the Tsarnaev brothers) guy a terrorist.


#20

I dunno, you don’t think Phil Lesh really wants her to leave the Boing Boing BBS do you?